Warwickshire’s director of cricket Ashley Giles believes his side needs to develop a ruthless streak if they are to turn last season’s near-miss in the County Championship into a title success.
Warwickshire were pipped by Lancashire to the title on a dramatic last day in September after they struggled to dislodge Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.
But Giles believes that missed opportunities earlier in the season, including defeat by Hampshire at Edgbaston and a draw with Lancashire at Liverpool, proved more costly.
“I don’t think there were any particular areas that let us down but there were situations in the season that we lost from strong positions,” Giles said.
“The big game that sticks out was Hampshire here where we bowled them out for 140 and got a good lead, and I suppose Lancashire at Liverpool where we had a massive window of opportunity and Lancashire here where the wicket suited them down to the ground.
“There was Durham up there when we were 260 for three and lost wickets before the close of play. But I think Hampshire here and Lancashire there were the two big ones.
“We have still got to be more ruthless at times. That doesn’t mean being loud or obnoxious or anything else in the way we play. But if you get a window you jump through it, you don’t give the opposition a sniff.
“The key thing for me is runs on the board. If we get runs on the board and we keep our bowling attack fit we will be there or thereabouts.
“We are maturing nicely as a side but you want to see the evidence. If two guys get 1,000 runs we will be there or thereabouts. If two guys can get 1,000 runs and three guys can get 50 wickets that’s what Championship-winning sides do.
“One of the strengths we have got is that we bat a long way down. Successful Warwickshire sides of the past have always got runs from six downwards and we have got to do that again.”
Warwickshire begin their County Championship campaign against Somerset at Edgbaston on April 12 which may help Giles to sleep more restfully after a winter troubled by last season’s final day disappointment.
“I still have sleepless nights,” Giles said. “You should get over these things. But to get so close to the big prize is agonising.
“Someone has to miss out. You are happy for Lancashire because they have through the mill a bit as well. So good for them but you would rather we won it than them.”